Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spiritual Creativity

I have a lot going on in my mind recently, and not much time to sit and write it all down.  I say that to apologize if I get a little bit off topic now and again.  

Recently I went to see an art exhibit that my friend had a piece in.  I have known Josh (http://www.jmparker.com)  for some time and we have had some similarities in our upbringing, both have red hair, and many have said if people didn’t know better we could be mistaken for siblings.  I had been to see some of Josh’s exhibits before and really do enjoy art in the first place, I went through this time once again being very interested in how he had come up with and created something that was in his mind.  He had, in my perception, materialized what had before been a mental image and therefore been able to share a piece of his mental image and creativity with us.  

I do really enjoy art.

I have looked at all sorts of art in my various travels (that made me sound like such a world traveler and so dignified, reality is that I have just been blessed to get in on a few amazing trips) and in my travels I have enjoyed many of the pieces I have seen.  I am not a person that can explain to you every intricacy; I won’t always be able to pick out the things that everyone else may see.  I am not cultured, I am not trendy, or edgy, but I love the creativity.  I love seeing what I do see and enjoying it, taking away what I see from the art before me, and I even love sharing what I see with others…even if they don’t agree.  I can’t even explain it, I love art, creativity, I even love being creative in what I see in someone elses creativity if that makes sense.

As I walked in to the Sculpture Center in Cleveland (http://sculpturecenter.org) I saw a folded card with some information about Josh and his work.  I picked it up and looked at it as he was addressing some people about his art and they were asking questions and making comments (some were…odd).  As I began to read I was struck at something I read,
 Creativity should carry no limits.  Rational and logical thought breed rational and logical art.  To be rational and logical is to be like the past and what is already known.  I want to experience the unknown.  The irrational and illogical breed new thought and foster new experience.
I really like this, and me being me, I think of a lot of what I read and view in a spiritual sense.  I actually think this can carry some spiritual emphasis as well.  God has made us to be creative, because we are made in His creative image.  God’s creativity has no limits, how much do we limit Him in what He can do (not that we actually limit God) because our minds cannot facilitate the amazing fathoms of His creativity?  What does that say about how creative He has made us to be and wants us to be?  Including in the ways we search for Him, search to help others, search to spread His Word, and search to be more connected to Him?

I believe that rational and logical faith will breed a rational and logical action in that faith, but what if that faith is in a God that is too large to fit our rationale?  What then?  What do we do when God calls us in our rational and logical faith to do something very illogical by our human standards?  Can we break free from this mundane logic?  Or are we self trapped to continue on in the comfortable, well fitting faith that we have created?  I want the irrational and illogical that breeds new thoughts and foster new experiences with God.

I am not saying we add anything to God, for there is really nothing we can add to Him anyway that is worthwhile.  Actually, quite the contrary, I say we become creative so that we may better search the depths of who He is to deepen our faith.

I am just saying that we be open beyond our realm of understanding as we journey along this pathway of our life searching for God in greater ways.  I want to experience the unknown as well, I want to experience the things that God has, who He is, what He is like, what He likes, and so on.  How could I possibly do that by trying to cram Him into fitting my logic and rationale?  

All this to say…Josh is a very creative person who sees things and wants to be open to see things in an irrational way, Josh is an artist.  

Maybe…maybe, being open to see God in a creative way is a sort of art as well.  Maybe that is something I enjoy, maybe it doesn’t fit a profile, a structure, or a well laid plan…but maybe that is ok.  

Thanks Josh for making me think, thanks for your creativity, thanks for your art.

Everyone else, if you get the chance...go check out Josh's exhibit, it is open until February 26th.

*Also, hope it was ok to quote you Josh, didn't really think to ask until now...


Ben Wilson said...

A tangent on creating:
A friend recently made a statement that the current generation was raised in a way that it is good at critiquing and bad at creating. (While I knew this, I probably would never have voiced it because that shows creativity, so I reference him.) Today I was impressed with the thoughts of G.K. Chesterton in his book "What I Saw in America." He obviously critiques the culture and customs (critiques surprisingly still relevant today) and shares his own thoughts on issues and philosophy which American Christianity would find "creative." Which leads me to the question of how does one become creative? How does a person think beyond the boundaries subconsciously subverted on his thoughts? By questioning the unquestionable?

Joel said...

Howard Hendricks wrote a book on it, Ben.